Chapter 8Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

If you’ve ever gone out for sushi, chances are you’ve eaten raw salmon. And why not? It’s typically on every sushi menu, and you probably consider it a staple of Japanese cuisine, just like tuna. If you were to travel to Japan, you’d find salmon on sushi menus everywhere as well. It might be hard to believe then, but all of this salmon sushi and sashimi is actually the result of a carefully designed Norwegian government-funded sushi initiative—yes, you read that right. If you had gone to Tokyo back before the ’80s, you would not have been able to find salmon sushi anywhere. Sure, you could have ordered cooked salmon as part of some delicious dish, but not raw. Most salmon in Japan—having come from the Pacific—was known for its parasites and would have never been consumed uncooked by the Japanese.1

It’s funny how perceptions change; or maybe it’s not so much funny as it is just a matter of effective communications. Enter Norway and their abundant supply of Norwegian salmon, which, by the way, is now the dominant fish used in sushi restaurants around the world.2 The 1980s found Norway with a real surplus of the fish. The country’s government had subsidized their fishing industry for decades, and by the late ’80s decided they needed to stop.3 They didn’t know what to do with the vast amounts of salmon piling up, so they looked to the global market for ideas. That’s when they struck on pitching their product to a nation that already ...

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